But no sonnets about how I stayed home to watch The Princess Diaries 2—again. No refrains for the burning guilt that I was convinced I cleansed with holy fire over the time I cheated on a homework assignment ten years ago. No notebooks for the hours I scribbled in the margins. I tell myself those memories are nothing but white noise to the poets whose lines follow me like stray dogs.
And isn’t that the lie?
Denying the poetry
…in the swirl of cream and coffee
and in the 0s I keep
..pounding in the gradebook?
Ignoring the art
.in the misery of waking up
….in slithering darkness, the dog hair
.that nestles in my sweaters,
or rescuing the Halloween decorations
..from the monster of my closet.
I’ve written dozens of pages about the feel of his hands on me; or the longing to kiss the neck of the girl who came out to me last week. Endless poems about how I can count calories better than dollars. But not the stories that are crumpled up with the receipts in the backseat of my car. Long after I have given up the useless breathing exercises to hand me a whisper of sleep, I tell myself these words can never breathe on a page.
What if I stop suffocating them?
Taryn Miller has recently survived her first year teaching middle school and has started her second. Her poetry has been published in USRepresented and Eskimo Pie, amongst other publications.